GREENSBURG – Today marks the first day of the 2019 Power of the Past "Reunion" at the Decatur County Fairgrounds.

This is the 30th year for the popular local festival, which spans four days: Aug. 15 to 18. Activities begin daily at 8 a.m. The cost for the event is $5 per person; children 12 and under may attend for free.

"This started 30 years ago with just a few people and tractors. It was a bunch of guys who really enjoyed what they were doing and they considered themselves family, so that's why we call it a reunion," said Power of the Past President Tom Cherry.

Greensburg Elementary students are touring the festival today.

Students from St. Mary's, South and North Decatur, and Good Shepard are expected to visit this "working museum" Friday.

"We really want to find ways to make this popular among the young," Cherry said. "A lot of the older folks who set this up are starting to die off, so we have to get younger people interested in this."

There will also be what Cherry called "muscle tractors" on hand. Showcasing tractors with a little extra horsepower was former club president Clark Martin's idea, and a special area of the fairgrounds is reserved for them.

The featured tractor this year is the "Fordson."

American engineer, inventor, and businessman Henry Ford started by building experimental tractors from automobile components and launched a prototype known as the Model B in August 1915.

According to Wikipedia, additional prototypes followed in 1916. With World War I raging in Europe, the first regular-production Henry Ford and Son tractors were exported to the U.K. in 1917 to expand British agriculture. In 1918, exports continued and the manufacturer started calling them Fordsons.

Just as the Ford Model T helped the public to appreciate how soon cars and trucks might replace most horses for transportation, the Fordson helped people to appreciate how soon tractors might replace horses in farming.

"I understand that it was a very well built tractor. ... Farmers relied on them as the main agricultural tool on their farms," Cherry said.

After 1964, all tractors made by Ford companies worldwide carried the Ford brand.

Longtime Power of the Past participant Sonny Cupp passed away this year, and his fellow antique tractor enthusiasts have agreed to honor him.

"Sonny was very instrumental in this event for as long as it's been running, and we'd like to dedicate this year's show to him. We've lost a lot of good people lately, and we need to remember them while we walk around the show this year," Cherry said.

----

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-7011 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com.

Power of the Past schedule

Thursday

Bingo at 4 p.m.

Tractor Pull, Distance at 6 p.m.

Friday

Antique Tractor Cruise and Wagon Train at 9 a.m.

Bingo at 4 p.m.

Tractor Pull, Distance and Garden Tractor Pull at 6 p.m.

Saturday

Toy Show from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Wagon Train at 9 a.m.

Bingo at 10 a.m.

Fiddle Contest at 1 p.m.

Parade at 2 p.m.

Junior Tractor Games at 3 p.m.

Kids Games at 4 p.m.

Mass and Pony Pull at 5 p.m.

Horse Pull at 7 p.m.

Kyle Pearl Band from 6 to 9 p.m.

Sunday

Toy Show, Arts and Crafts and Flea Markets from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Vesper Services at 8:30 a.m.

Consignment Auction at 9 a.m.